Chris Smith

Chris Smith with a bird out in the forest
Graduation Year: 
After Humboldt, Chris went on to work as a field ornithologist in Australia and New Zealand.

  Chris studied the effects of shade trees in Kenyan coffee farms on bird abundance and species richness. Virtually no research had been done in coffee on bird communities in Africa, and it was currently unknown how certification programs that advertise coffee as "shade grown" or "bird friendly" actually affect birds. Shade trees may also be habitat for insectivorous birds that help remove pests from the coffee. Chris's results helped reveal relationships between farm vegetation and the bird community to inform future bird conservation and future research on the delivery of pest control services by birds.